Circumstances prevented Elena and John from marrying in Italy, but the country’s influence can be seen throughout their wee wedding that has food and family at its heart – it’s bellissima!

Elena Menichetti & John Morris

1st August 2020

Venue | tipi on family farm in Crieff
Photography | Julia Graham Photography

“We won’t paint our love story all romantic: we met through friends in our local club and we were both very drunk. John worked away, so we counted down to each weekend when we could see one another. Lots of extremely fun weekends away and nights out followed. We had the best time.

We visit Bologna, Italy, a lot as I was born there, so it has become John and I’s special place. In February 2019, he took me by surprise and proposed in the middle of the main square in the city! We always wanted to have an intimate wedding there too, but when I fell pregnant with our second child, morning sickness meant that travelling to find a venue in time wasn’t going to be possible.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we began worrying that the August 2020 date we’d set might be in doubt, but we then decided to use events to our advantage. We had always wanted a personal, relaxed wedding and Covid-19 gave us a reason to have a smaller guest list without offending anyone.

Getting married outside was a dream of ours, so the regulations on outdoor weddings worked to our advantage too. We had my sister and brother in-law on board to use their beautiful field in Crieff and we lined up a tipi from PapaKåta (now out of business). We took each government announcement one at a time and planned a little more based on what we hoped was going to be allowed.

We hired posh, outdoor loos from Honeywagon Co. This meant we didn’t need to have anyone in the house and could comply with guidelines. Everyone loved them – they didn’t feel like portaloos at all!

Because we couldn’t get married there, Italy ended up being a huge inspiration. My family are in the restaurant trade, so they all chipped in. We had a BBQ courtesy of my dad and chef brother in-law Stefano and our evening food was individual pizzas from our pizzeria, Ciao in Bridge of Allan, which went down a storm.

The Italian vibe carried over into the laid-back atmosphere too. We were keen to ditch wedding protocol and make the day less formal. We chose to marry later on in the afternoon, there was no set time for speeches and food and we had no seating plan (which meant it was easy for everyone to spread out and comply with social distancing). John even had Ezra, our eldest son, as his best man.

The best point of the day was our religious ceremony. Walking down ‘the aisle’ with my dad to see John and my boys, Ezra and Eli, waiting with our dog Sully running around by my side felt really special – it really did feel like in the movies! Our vows were beautiful and unforgettable.

We’ve worked with photographer Julia Graham since our first son was born. I knew John and I would feel relaxed around her. Relaxed, candid pictures is the vibe we were after and Julia totally nailed that. Our favourite shots are the unperfected moments, like our son Ezra looking grumpy, shirt un-tucked and kilt socks off five minutes after the ceremony, because he wanted to go on the bouncy castle rather than pose for a nice photo with his parents.

I waited a while before I went shopping for a wedding dress as I wasn’t confident with my post-baby body. However, the ladies at Anne Priscilla Bridal in Glasgow were amazing at putting me at ease. I tried on a plain skirt and off the shoulder top (by Halfpenny London) and knew straight away it was the one. I felt comfortable and confident in it. We added short sleeves, a slit up the skirt and took most of the train as I wanted ease of movement. I added a dreamy veil last minute for dramatic effect. I definitely had ‘that moment’ when the look came together and I’ll never forget the feeling.

I spotted sparkly, ombré shoes on a bride online and hunted high and low for them. It turned out they were Jimmy Choo from Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh. My sisters thought I was mad as they were a little controversial for a wedding shoe but I knew they were the ones! They made the outfit and everyone loved them.

One of my sisters made the most beautiful elderflower, white chocolate, Italian meringue and buttercream cake for us. She’s great at baking, but she got guidance from her sister in-law, Anne Marie, owner of Ivory Tower Cakes. The elderflower cordial was even made from bushes growing in her own garden.

We were completely blown away by the beautiful flowers provided by Fiori in Glasgow. I don’t think there would have been another florist anywhere who could have topped her work! We opted for dried grasses and soft, blowsy flowers mixed with little ones such as gypsophila and daises, all brought together with olive branches and ivy.

Hair and make up was by Honey and Violet Weddings in Stirling. My good friend Lisa is one of the owners and is an absolute talent at wedding hair. I didn’t have a trial as I knew I’d love whatever she did. She just gets me.”

Top tip: “If you have a negative feeling about a supplier from the beginning, go with your gut and don’t use them. There was only one supplier we had issues with and that feeling of doubt was already there pre-pandemic. In hindsight, I wish I had trusted my instinct at the beginning and looked for someone else.”

Venue tipi on family farm in Crieff
Photography Julia Graham Photography
Bride’s dress Halfpenny London at Anne Priscilla Bridal
Bride’s shoes Jimmy Choo at Harvey Nichols
Bridesmaids’ dresses each bridesmaid chose and wore their own dress
Flower girl dresses Etsy
Groomswear groom’s own kilt
Page boy attire House of Henderson
Flowers Fiori
Teepee and furniture PapaKåta (out of business)
Wedding rings Mr Harold & Son
Hair and makeup Honey and Violet
Outdoor toilets Honeywagon Co.
Evening pizza Ciao Bridge of Allan

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